NEW DELHI, Sept. 17 -- After months of delay and wrangling, the intra-Afghan peace talks finally began in Doha, Qatar, last week. These talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban delegation saw envoys and organisations from over 15 countries participating, underscoring the wider regional and global ramifications of these negotiations. Yet, the challenges were clear from the opening remarks of the main interlocutors.

Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, was categorical that while "the legitimate demand of our people and the goal of peace is to end all forms of war and violence through political means," they wanted a constitutional system in the country that would preserve democracy, elections...